Reading: Psalm 94
The LORD is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, LORD, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, LORD;
they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The LORD does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice” (NIV).*
As I gather my thoughts to write this post there are fresh reports that a ceasefire in the conflict in Yemen has come to an end. Aid convoys have been bombed. Recriminations fly back and forth between the warring parties; each blames the other. Meanwhile, war rages on. People starve. Refugees flee. Bombs fall from the sky and children are killed and injured.
There is a present-day relevance to Psalm 94. Its words are an ongoing reality in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. How long, LORD, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. They crush your people, LORD; they oppress your inheritance. They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless.
The Syrian conflict is now entering its tenth year with no end in sight and many people are asking, “How long, LORD?”
There is so much evil in the world. Evil expresses itself most graphically during war. There are those who would like to blame God for war, but that makes no sense. Human pride, greed and cunning lead to war. Human intransigence keeps it going. We can and should pray for God to show mercy and bring peace, but ultimately human hearts must change to bring an end to war.
We are right to pray for an end to murderous regimes. Essentially that is what the psalmist is praying. Is there more we can do? Emergency aid to war-torn regions is always needed. We can open our hearts and our wallets to provide some help. When an entire nation falls into the hands of murderous thieves are there a few good Samaritans who are willing to help?
Sometimes there are no easy answers in this difficult world. Rise up, Judge of the earth!
Response: LORD God, thank you for the peace and security I enjoy. I don’t want to take my peace and prosperity for granted. Show me how I can be of help in this troubled world. Amen.
Your Turn: Should we be concerned about foreign conflicts or only pay attention to things at home?